For California’s New Governor, Big Mistakes Will Lead to Greatness

Gavin Newsom Can’t Make Meaningful Progress on Health Care or Housing Without an Appetite for Risk

Gavin, screw up. Please.

Make mistakes. Big ones. Because the state you’re about to start running needs more screw-ups.

The transition now taking place in the California governor’s office feels both historic and incredibly dull—and the reason for both feelings is the same. For the first time since the 19th century, a Democrat is replacing a Democrat. Both are liberals, so what will be so different?

Here’s one potential answer: the gubernatorial appetite for risk.

Over the last eight years, Jerry Brown made a fetish out of his own caution. He focused relentlessly …

The 1958 Governor’s Race That Launched a Dynasty

An Internecine Fight Between Two Republicans Opened the Door to Ambitious San Francisco Democrat Pat Brown

As Jerry Brown nears the end of his record fourth term as California governor, his final months are swathed in nostalgia, superlatives, and retrospectives on a remarkable five decades in …

California Prison Sentences Don’t Work Any More

Why Now Is the Time to Change the Rules I Helped Make

Just how much discretion should we give to officialdom when sentencing people to prison for crimes?

It’s a hard question, and, as I’ve learned firsthand, the answer can change through time. …

Does Blink-182 Know Something California’s Governor Jerry Brown Doesn’t?

While Politicians Keep Trumpeting the State’s Success, This Summer’s Songs and Films Sound Skeptical

How is California doing these days? The answer may depend on whom you believe: Governor Brown or Blink-182.

This summer has exposed a divide in perception of California, between the political …

California Needs to Embrace the Apocalypse

Why Gov. Jerry Brown Is Practicing ‘Enlightened Doomsaying’ to Save the State—and the World

Is California being governed by apocalyptic French philosophy?

Oui. But it’s not the end of the world.

Indeed, apocalyptic French philosophy may finally provide clarity for those of us long puzzled …

California, Where Less Costs More

It's Time to Stop the Unfairness

Is “Eureka” still the state motto? I suppose so. But if we’re honest with ourselves, we’ll soon redesign the California official seal to express the real code we live by: …